A MAN who misled the public into donating money to charity has been jailed for five months following a Trading Standards investigation.
Tyler Parton, 32, from Shirehampton near Bristol, used a network of 90 collectors to gather over £300,000 from people across the West Country and the West Midlands, including Solihull town centre.
The collectors would claim to be selling leaflets containing widely available information about things like dietary information for cancer sufferers.
They also asked passers-by for spare change for ‘children’s cancer’.
When Parton’s property was searched police found buckets containing not just change but also £5 notes. He also had two coin counting machines and thousands of coin bags.
The scam was initially investigated by the Trading Standards team at Solihull Council.
When it became clear that Bristol Council were looking into the same group and it was being organised from that area, the Solihull Trading Standards officer assisted their investigation by providing evidence.
The Solihull officer was also due to give evidence at the trial, but was not required to as Parton elected to plead guilty to engaging in a misleading action, the criminal offence for which he was imprisoned.
Councillor Alison Rolf, Solihull Council cabinet member for stronger and safer communities said: “Tyler Parton and his network of collectors were an intimidating presence in Solihull town centre in 2017.
“They blighted town centres across a wide area and misled good people into giving money by referring to child cancer, which is obviously a hugely emotional issue that has affected so many people and their families.
“I’m pleased and proud that one of our Trading Standards officers contributed to bringing about a conviction for him. The council is committed to keeping our streets safe and welcoming and actions like this are an important part of that.”